Save the Glutens — A Public Service Announcement

[Originally Published in the Winter 2015 issue of Food & Dining Magazine.]

I write to you today to bring your attention to a terrible plight, one that exists in plain view, yet remains unquestioned by many in our great nation. I speak to you of the Anti­Gluten Movement. As you may or may not be aware, a vast right­wing Anti­Gluten conspiracy threatens the existence of these remarkable creatures. We ask you today to do what you can to help correct this before it is too late, thereby restoring balance to the Force while simultaneously saving the polar bears. Girded with the facts below, you can make a difference.

What is a Gluten?
I write to you today to bring your attention to a terrible plight, one that exists in plain view, yet remains unquestioned by many in our great nation. I speak to you of the Anti­Gluten Movement. As you may or may not be aware, a vast right­wing Anti­Gluten conspiracy threatens the existence of these remarkable creatures. We ask you today to do what you can to help correct this before it is too late, thereby restoring balance to the Force while simultaneously saving the polar bears. Girded with the facts below, you can make a difference.

Who Hates Gluten?
The outermost layers of the onion have only just been peeled away, but ongoing efforts by MI6 working in close coordination with Mossad and Seal Team 6 have finally decrypted communi­cations from the Dark Web. The portrait of a Shadow Conspiracy made up of North Korean Autocrats, the TSA andEmperor Palpatine, with funding from Silk Road and the Koch Brothers, is only just beginning to emerge. What their motivation is remains unclear, but their cover seems to be to spread a mes­sage that a diet free of glutens will eradicate liver spots and vari­cose veins while keeping you from snoring. Wake up, Sheeple! It’s a lie!

What they Claim:
The Anti-­Gluteneers’ agitprop is vast and complex. Through complex, parallel messaging they spread an unholy stew of untruths, some seasoned with just enough logic to make it digestible. What is most shameful of all is that they piggyback their message of intolerance atop the legitimate medical condition of celiac. Those suffering from this disorder are made out to be mere cover for the Anti­-Gluteneers Carnival of Lies. The following are but a few of the insidious lies they spin:

MYTH ¬My Gluten¬Free diets helped me lose weight
FACT ¬A reduced calorie diet helped you to lose weight be¬cause you no longer eat a double-decker Caramel Pecanbon® at Cinnabon for breakfast and knock back a cold six¬pack of Schöfferhofer Grapefruit Weizen¬Mix Hefeweizen for lunch. With a Cinnabon chaser. You fool.

MYTH ¬“Gluten¬Free” is the code¬phrase you must give to your server at Chipotle’s to unlock the Secret Menu.
FACT ¬A burritodilla does, in fact, contain gluten. A lot of gluten.

MYTH ¬A gluten¬free diet can be used as a replacement for a W-2 when applying for a second mortgage.
FACT ¬This is just not true. I tried.

MYTH ­“Gluten­Free” means that my Snickerdoodle is made from wholesome, all­natural ingredients.
FACT ­Weirdo space chemicals and granulated plastisol are the reason why your gluten­free Snickerdoodle even man­ages to maintain structural balance without collapsing into a wafer of cinnamon-dusted Matzo. I hope that lie tastes delicious, and be sure to keep it away from small pets and open flames.

MYTH ­A Gluten-Free diet helped my husband stop snoring.
FACT ­Separate bedrooms made your husband stop snoring.

Why Eat Glutens?
Gluten is the loveliness that binds our culi­nary heritage together. It has been part of humankind’s diet since our predecessors learned to grind grain. Gluten is a com­pletely natural protein that develops dur­ing the mixing process and gives dough its stretchiness and malleability. It is the rea­son we have real pizza, crusty breads deli­cious pasty and more. Gluten substitutes typically add weird chemicals, more sugars and processed starches to substitute for the natural properties of the ingredient they seek to replace.

What are the Consequences of a Gluten Free World?
Without glutens to keep the natural bal­ance in check, our planet would soon be overrun with tsunamis, fruit flies and car­nivorous lemurs. Imagine a barren, deso­late wasteland, like Mordor but with even worse shopping, and nothing to eat save unleavened flatbread pizzas topped with broccoli florets. When it rains, it rains spi­ders. Seasons last for decades and the Others will stalk the vast ice­fence that President Trump builds to protect our northern borders from the Canadian wildlings. That is the future of a world which follows the pogrom of gluten erad­ication to its logical conclusion.

Don’t let this be your children’s future. Act today. F&D